Karate Club

About us
             Frequently Asked Questions:

When and where does karate club meet?

What type of martial arts is taught?

What is a typical class like?

How much does it cost?

Do you have to already know karate?

Who is the instructor?


Is there a belt ranking system?


Is there fighting?


Is there self defense training during class?


Who can I contact for additional information?

When and where does karate club meet?

Karate Club meets from 6:15 until 7:15 every Tuesday and Thursday night during the school year. The dojo is located in the Valencia Performing Arts Center building practically on WSU West Campus, students can take the shuttle from main campus. The Valencia Performing Arts Center is located on the corner of Vila and Howard St. (10th Street).


What type of martial arts is taught?

The style of martial arts we practice is Japan Karate-Do Shito-Ryu Genbu-kai. Shito-Ryu karate is a style of traditional Japanese karate, founded by Knwa Mabuni, who was a senior student of both Master Itosu (the founder of the Okinawan Shorin-Ryu style) and Master Higoanna (the founder of the Okinawan Goju-Ryu style). When Mabuni died in 1952, his senior students carried on his teachings through their own organizations. One of the students, Master Ryushu Sakagami, named his organization the Itosu-Kai. Shihan Fumio Demura, one of Master Sakagami’s senior students came to the United States in 1965 and worked to promote Shito-Ryu throughout the world. In 2001, Shihan Demura formed the Japan Karate-Do Genbu-kai. We belong to this organization, which currently has over 20,000 members in more than 30 countries. Winona State’s Karate Club is affiliated with Japan Karate-Do Genbu-kai of Minnesota. The Japan Karate-Do Genbu-kai is also affiliated with Shigeru Sawabe’s organization called the Shubo-kai.


What is a typical class like?

A typical class begins with a ceremony in which students show respect for the teachers (the one present and the ones who came before), their seniors, and each other. This is done through Japanese formal bow. The ceremony also helps students prepare mentally for the training by giving them a separation between karate class and other activities. Next is warm up activities such as stretching, strength training with medicine balls, and endurance training.

Karate training is composed of three parts: kihon, kata, and kumite. Kihon (basics) training teaches techniques- how to stand, block, punch, and kick- first one technique at a time, then in combinations. Kata (forms) are prearranged combinations of techniques, practiced individually. Kata is the dictionary of karate and teaches the students to practice alone; it uses the technique of visualization that modern sports psychologists are using to improve athletic performance. Kumite (sparring) is training with another student to apply the techniques against an opponent. Each instructor structures his/her class individual and may choose to do additional training, such as self defense. Class ends with recital, in Japanese, of dojo-kun and an end-of class bowing ceremony.


How much does it cost?

Karate club is free to join. There are no club fees and the classes are free. The instructors volunteer their time and facilities for Karate club to use. The only coast a student may endure is if he/she chooses to test for a higher rank; each test costing only $20.


Do you have to already know karate?

There is no experience necessary. Most students start with little or no background in martial arts. There is also no obligation to come to every class. Of course, as with any sport, the more you practice the better you will become. So come and check out a few classes; if you don’t like it just stop coming, and if you do like it, bring friends!


Who is the instructor?

The instructor (sensei) of karate club is Richmond McCluer. He started training in Shito-Ryu Karate at Winona State University in 1973. He is an instructor at the Japan Karate-Do Genbu Kai of Minnesota Dojo, where he also teaches Okinawan weapons and Japanese Swoard Arts. He is also a professor at Winona State teaching criminal law.


Is there a belt ranking system?

As students progress, their improvement, and our expectations of them is recognized by ranks. A belt system is used as a method of evaluating merit and development of students. A student’s rank is displayed by the belt they wear. There are 9 ranks before black belt in our style of martial arts and 4 different colored belts- you do not get a new colored belt each time you test. Each rank requires a test. Testing measures knowledge and level of technical proficiency in karate. It is optional to advance in rank. Tests are done approximately every 4 months, although higher ranks take more time to achieve. There is a testing fee of $20.


Is there fighting?

Karate Club practices a form of fighting/sparring called Kumite. Beginners practice a simulated fight in which there is no contact with punches or kicks except to block them. As students progress, more freestyle types of sparring are practices allowing light contact.


Is there self defense training during class?

We try to incorporate basic self defense techniques into each class. The techniques that are taught are simple and effective; the goal being to stop an attacker so the victim can get away.


Who can I contact for additional information?

Any questions/concerns? Contact Ty Rohloff the Karate Club president through e-mail trohloff06@winona.edu